Spring 2010 Issue

Rocking the Boat

In December 2009, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government hosted a conference, “Controlling Maritime Piracy.” Among the distinguished guests invited to speak were Barry Law School Dean Leticia Diaz and Professor Barry Hart Dubner.

The Harvard conference was attended by representatives from the European Union, Asia, Russia, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense, among others. In all, 22 participants from around the world were in attendance discussing topics such as legal issues regarding sovereignty, jurisdiction and international law; preventing piracy at sea and preventing piracy from land.

“My colleague and I were honored to have been invited to speak at the Kennedy School of Government,” Diaz said. “In light of recent events, it is appropriate that the academic world address the issue of sea piracy and what can be done to combat the threat it poses to international waters and our environment. Barry Law School looks forward to working with Harvard and other institutions to bring this topic to the forefront.”

Diaz and Dubner, who have co-authored several articles on the subject, spoke about jurisdictional problems regarding prescribing and enforcing legislation related to piracy and the sovereignty of the international community of nations. During her presentation titled, “Inter Alia,” Diaz spoke about earth jurisprudence and international environmental problems that occur as a result of piracy.

Dubner, who wrote the first manuscript on sea piracy in 1977, discussed the importance of both a regional and international approach to capturing and trying pirates.